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Mark Bowen: ‘AFC Wimbledon players are relishing the final four games’

AFC Wimbledon manager Mark Bowen says that his side are “relishing” the final four games of the season as they look to survive relegation from League One.

Wimbledon travel to already relegated Crewe Alexandra on Friday, with games against playoff hopefuls Wycombe Wanderers, relegation rivals Fleetwood Town and mid-table Accrington Stanley remaining.

Wimbledon have now gone 24 games without a win in all competitions. However, under Bowen, who replaced Mark Robinson as manager following the 1-0 defeat to Cambridge, the Dons have picked up two draws in succession and agonisingly lost in added time away to Sheffield Wednesday.

The South Londoners cut the gap to just three points last weekend after picking up a point against promotion-chasing Milton Keynes.

“Having looked at the game from Saturday a couple of times over now, and especially in the first half, I couldn’t have asked for more – I was absolutely delighted,” Bowen tells the South London Press when reflecting on the last outing.

AFC Wimbledon v MK Dons SkyBet League One, Cherry Red Records Stadium, 09 April 2022

“For the majority of the first half, we were in their half. Every time we lost possession, we got into a really good shape – we totally nullified their passing game and the way they like to play.

“Sometimes, when you do that, you can forget that you have to go and play as well, but we didn’t. For the first hour of the match, I was delighted by the way we shut up shop and denied them, but also with the threat that we posed going forward.

“We had a post-game meeting with the lads yesterday [Monday] to put it to bed, and it was all positives.

“The team has gone so long now without winning, you would possibly forgive them in someways for being really low in confidence and personality, but I can assure everyone that, whatever happens from here on in, at this moment in time, we have got a group of players who are relishing what is ahead of them.

“Their confidence is as good as it can be in the circumstances, and there is a real feeling in the dressing room that we really are putting good performances in, but maybe if a few things go for us in games, then we can quickly turn that into wins.”

PICTURES: KEITH GILLARD

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